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Deb Harris
Deb Harris

Deb Harris is a community health instructor at PSU who grew up in a house where her parents preached the power of education.

“They just said, ‘You’ve got to go to school. It’s the ticket to everything.’ I really wanted to honor them after their passing and to perpetuate their beliefs.”

So, she created the Harris Family Scholarship to celebrate the memory of her late parents, Dale and Kathie Harris, neither of whom had college degrees.

“They were such big believers in education,” Harris says. “I remember my dad saying you could never take an education away once you had it.”

Harris earned a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico and two master’s degrees in teaching from Portland State University. She was a high school health and PE teacher for nearly three decades before she began teaching at PSU.

Now, she says, she wants to support undergraduates who are committed to community health, lifelong learning, public service and compassion for the poor.